The muddy walking stick

I had a “déjà vu” feeling with this picture; indeed it’s very similar to this one published in February. Here again, the chevrons of this US Army corporal can be barely seen on the sleeve of the M1917 overcoat. This NCO wears a M1912 officer/NCO pistol belt, with ammunition pouches for his M1917 .45 revolver (a Colt or a Smith & Wesson).

He has a muddy walking stick too. Was it a studio prop?



5 thoughts on “The muddy walking stick

  1. I think you are right, F-X. The cane certainly looks nearly identical in both photos even though the soldiers appear different. But what is really strange is that the belt, bag, pistol, and coat also look the same too. The small mark and string on the side of the bag as well as the lanyard on the pistols are identical. And both men are left-handed corporals who wear a pistol on the right side.

  2. Good point Mike! But I don’t get how you can guess that these men are left-handed. I don’t think that holding a cane with the left hand is enough. But let’s work now at my new post, online in a few minutes…

  3. Ah, got it! The point is that the holster revolver had this awkward design, it had to be worn on the right side of the man; I had a quick look at my archive and it was really worn this way. I don’t think this was a special rule for left-handed men, but simply bad design. As far as I know British soldiers were allowed to use the eye they preferred with their rifle, but I don’t know if US soldiers were allowed to do that during WW1. I am left-handed myself and shoots anyway with a 1911 pistol, even if design was made specifically not for people like me!

  4. What I know about handguns comes entirely from watching Hollywood Westerns and television shows. But Google provides all answers and it seems that many of the 1917 US Army issue holsters were indeed worn backward with the gun butt forward and on the right side. Here is a military website forum with the info and other photos showing the same odd position.
    It seems the position came from the cavalry era when soldiers on horseback wore the saber on their left to be drawn with the right hand while the left hand drew the handgun from the right.

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